Saturday, 28 November 2009

Shades Of Things To Come


Maverik Showroom
Redchurch St, London
25th - 29th (Sunday!) November 2009

All photos: NoLionsInEngland

When Probs23, laden with experience of putting on shows at The Dragon Bar (RIP) and a little black book filled with phone numbers of some the World’s best graff writers, not to mention the arranger of several London Meetings Of styles jams says he’s working with London graff heads favourite adopted son Tizer to put on a show, well you sit up and pay attention.

Probs – Shoreditch, London

Tizer ID
Tizer – West London

The line-up is phenomenal and all apart from Bom.K (if memory serves) featured in this year’s London Meeting of styles.

Askym Bonsai Nash Biser Nychos Wany Aryz Does
Askym Bonsai Nash Biser Nychos Wany Aryz Does, MOS 2009, London

On the upper ground floor each of the artists has taken on an 8 by 4 panel , the standout being the violent distress of Biser’s abstract pterodactyl painted over cardboard, ink, paper and almost anything he could get to stick to the surface.

Biser – 8 by 4 panel

Biser – 8 by 4 panel detail

A set of four very deep chipboard boxes have been painted by Nychos, Does, Aryz and Biser , each producing something distinctive for their individual style yet each has used the managed to work the underlying chopped wood as if it was an un-prepped surface behind their graffiti.

Nychos, Does, Aryz and Biser

Tizer is a legend for letterforms, fills and characters so it is not a surprise that his work moves easily into the gallery. Among the canvasses, panels and sketches it is cool to find framed sketches featuring instantly recognisable Tizer characters annotated with the music that set the mood.


Probs has been working with swirling vortices and warped intergalactic space effects in a number of wall pieces over the past year and these themes appear in several sketches and prints displayed in the show. The most stunning pair of canvasses take things in a very abstract direction and whilst the title Big Spaceora suggests more inter-planetary cosmic goodness but they could just as easily be read as sub microscopic intra-cellular life form skin fragments.

Probs – Big Spaceora

Rabodiga has one new piece in the show but seems to struggle making the canvas compositions appeal as much as her street face portraits.

Rabodiga – Queen Of Hearts

One of my pet hates is when writers do a large floor to ceiling piece on the gallery wall over a set of canvasses which each contains a small part of the piece, usually resulting is a set of meaningless accidental abstracts. Biser avoids this mess by writing his burner across a trio of canvasses, a gorgeous eruption of paint probes across a dirty drippy background, the wild lettering haemorrhages a slime of immiscible colour runs

Biser – Triptych Splats

Four favourite pieces:
Jaw dropping show-stopper is this very large canvas from Bom.K featuring snarling mutants rule a post apocalyptic (well, ok, slightly damaged) urban landscape, enormous amounts of detail in the composition and precision in the painting, many curious observers scrutinised the surface very closely seeking clues about Bom.K’s painting technique, several speculated the method is based on spray applied though airbrush.

Bom.K – Large Scale

Aryz has two spectacular canvasses, London (below) is a stunning colour shifting copper toned essay on booze and tea in an isolated self important world, which pretty much sums London up. Also check out his “Melting Portrait” on the flickr link below, another phenomenal canvas.

Aryz – London

Nychos contributes one of the large 8 by 4 panels, a deep chipboard box, sketches, a screen print and several canvasses ranging from the small (about 12 inches from memory) and ridiculously cheap canvasses featuring a rabbit character reminiscent of Studio Ghibli’s Totoro to this beautiful box headed roller wielding squid on acid paper.

Nychos – Box Head Squiddy

Like Biser, Does brings his letters off the streets and into the gallery, the meticulous detail of the lettering and the awesome fill patterns pop off the black backgrounds on a collection of five landscape canvasses.


Graffoto tends not to write about group shows but this one is epic and has so many impressive pieces, two visits really weren’t enough. The art is extremely good yet a large amount of it retains something of the energy and roughness of street work. Probs and Tizer have put a load of effort into curating this show, gathering a strong collection of work and displaying the art to best effect, the attention to detail has paid off( though perhaps the piza-esque tower of print tubes in the basement is a distraction!). The show closes this Sunday, 29 Nov so there isn’t that much time left to whizz along and take in the goodness.

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Hunto - The Graffiti Cubist

The Rag Factory
Heneage St, London
19 – 22 Nov 2009

all photos: Howaboutno (where noted) and NoLionsInEngland

Nothing really prepares you for the colourful orgy contained in the world of Hunto – The Graffiti Cubist. Internet searching doesn’t reveal much evidence of street style, Howaboutno among others captured this rare London piece in the Wick.

Hackney Wick with Twesh, Pharos, Saro (not in shot); Photo stolen from HowAboutno

Hailing from Italy, Hunto often paints with Heavy Artillery’s Italian representative Mr Wany, the London piece above was painted in the company of Twesh, also of Heavy Artillery. As a graffiti artist Hunto is a character man rather than a letterform purist.

A Rag Factory booking cock-up has forced the Hunto show to a utilitarian white cube about 100 yards further down Heneage St from the main Rag Factory site but at least the lighting is slightly better than the typical graff art cow-shed/dungeon/on-the-stairwell-down-to-the-pub-toilets space.

Hunto – The Graffiti Cubist

Hunto is showing a collection of canvasses, a mixed media painted-wall-plus-props installation and a beguiling set of screenprinted line drawings. His basic form involves character canvasses in lurid colours, cubist style with views from different angles collapsed onto a single plane (as opposed to intersecting flat planes and shapes).

The Hug

The first cursory glance will take in a collection of cubist faces with multiple viewing angles of various portrait figures. Closer inspection heightens the tension when erections and penetrated orifices become apparent. Finally, the penny drops when what at first looked like “urban art” splashes and dribbles are found to represent milky cum shots. All over the place!

Happy Time (7 pieces)

Hunto celebrates the joy of sexual abandon, multiple couplings and the erotic first crack, the moment when the budding relationship is consummated. The Bride is splattered with an excess of man juice, either she has had a traditional hen party or perhaps the catholic and horny Italian groom has been forced to wait until the first night.

The Bride

On these canvasses Hunto has used spraypaint almost exclusively, colours are generally flat, bright and blocky with just the occasional fade.


A corner installation features an amorous couple preserving their dignity by daintily discarding their underwear while they fumble around eachother’s bodies in that excited state brought on by the “your bedsit or mine” one night stand.

Hunto Installation

The bright and bold canvasses make the most immediate impact but the line drawings really show Hunto’s artistic skills. He certainly has the eye for rendering dynamic sex, passion, excitement and groups of bodies in a flat cubist style though the composition is more analytical and detailed than the relatively simple canvasses.

On The Bed

The party

One pair of canvasses stand out for being stylistically different, Hunto adopts a Basquiat style use of scratchy lines to outline the cubist subject which unsurprisingly is what newpaper reports would refer to as “a sex act”, done over a fractal colour layer.

First Meeting

Hunto seems to comment on contemporary casual sex in which a woman’s sexual favours are now cheap currency, evident in the Break in which the woman indifferently flits between a cigarette and a cock, we see a cityscape behind her perhaps signifying that she is so un-concerned she can’t be bothered to draw the curtains.


This show is a treat for the eyes and a stimulant to the loins. I like the fact that Hunto has not forsaken his basic graffiti tool but he has confidence in his art and doesn’t feel any need to yell “I’m graffiti”, there are no references to his graffiti roots such as contrived dots or tags. The whole show has a strong style and a strikingly clear and consistent theme. The canvasses are brash and skillful but for me the drawings are among the best new work seen this year.

Title unknown dippy hippy line drawing

The art may be a little saucy for display in a family home but then again, it was the Italians who made nudity commonplace with their renaissance. It’s amusing to find that even in the hands of a cubist (f’naar) the masculine member still comes out looking like a toilet door graffiti cock.

It's not porn darling, It's art: pics here

Sunday, 15 November 2009

The Thousands

Opening This Wednesday, "The Thousands" is a celebration of the gallery work of some of the top street artists in the World curated by RJ Vandalog. Artists to be shown include

Adam Neate
Anthony Lister
Barry McGee
Blek le Rat
Burning Candy
Chris Stain
David Ellis
Futura 2000
Jenny Holzer
José Parlá
Judith Supine
Know Hope
Nick Walker
Os Gêmeos
Shepard Fairey
WK Interact

Vandalog has developed an unrivalled coverage of what is new, news and fascinating in the world of street art. The energy he has brought to covering the street art scene on a daily basis is a tour-de-force, digesting his Vandalog blog in the form of a daily email has become required reading at Graffoto towers. Where one person gets the time and energy from is a mystery.

Graffoto is privileged to be involved in presenting a display of about 50 photos from the combined library of HowAboutNo and NoLionsInEngland at The Thousands, many of which haven't been published before.

The idea is to juxtapose the gallery art and installations with examples of work on the streets of London by the most of the featured artists.

The show also sees the launch of RJ's book "The Thousands: Painting Outside, Breaking In" again we are honoured that this features a modest photographic contribution from ourselves, we can't wait to see the finished article.

Entrance is free, details of location and opening hours are as per the flyer, see you at the opening - refreshments by Brewdog

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Panik - Changing Faces

5 Nov – 28 Nov 2009
Sartorial Gallery, London

Panik ATG aka Mr P (and now – also known as Jack Murray) has been a feature of London streets for a decade or so, currently as a key member of ATG and formerly as a member of the now defunct London Frontline.

Panik ATG

His second solo show this year has opened at Sartorial Art Gallery in the small project space which was previously earmarked as Tek 33’s Writers' Bench space.

As a bomber Panik has a pretty impressive ability to access rooftops and various other walls.


As a painter, Panik rocks a highly coloured a tribal geometric style tending towards a cubism with acid colours vibe.


There are three larger canvasses, of which this gorgeous Basquiat influenced work blew the eyeballs off my face.

Free n Easy

The earlier show at Pure Evil gallery was characterised by a couple of nuggets surrounded by a large degree of untamed chaos, consisting primarily of the Panik dub at manageable canvas scale, this show is a far more accomplished artistic achievement and confirms Panik’s ability to leave the large scale street stuff behind and produce “art”. Having become accustomed to many recent shows incorporating pieces which the artists failed to sell last time out (which actually is a blessing, remember the bad old days when you walked into the PV to find every piece of shit had a red dot), it is also a relief to find that apart from one editioned print everything here is new (or at least, wasn’t shown in the Pure Evil gallery show).

Take Time To Dream

More pics of Changing Faces art here

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Tinsel Edwards, Twinkle Troughton, Meter Maids!

Irate motorists in Shoreditch and Hoxton took a hammering last Thursday as a blizzard of parking tickets were issued in a blitz on cars in the area. The usual sealed sellophane wrappers warned that it was illegal for any one other than the driver of the vehicle to remove the ticket.

While on a lunch break constitutional Graffoto caught un-expectedly up with a pair of wardens leading the onslaught on parking in the area. From behind there was something familiar and saucy about the cascading black hair, the seamed stockings and the red stilettos and catching up our suspicions were confirmed.

It was Twinkle Troughton and Tinsel Edwards dressed to kill as meter maids – pulses raced I can tell ya, if only real traffic wardens looked like this.

The very realistic cellophane wrappers turned out to contain not a ticket but a limited edition signed piece of mini art titled “It Was The Best Of Times, It Was The Worst Of Times”, featuring a closed UK high street institution, Woolworths.

Loss of jobs, industries and insecurity are a wide-spread reality for millions caught in the recession fall-out yet one senses a ray of hope in Twinkle adn Tinsel's sentiments, a possibility that within the recession people do find the inner reserves to rebuild, recover and grow. Out of the negative coming a positive.

Imagine the shifting emotions of a driver thinking they’d picked up a parking fine only to find they’d actually been gifted a piece of free street art. Again, out of a negative coming a positive.

So there you have it, Twinkle and Tinsel make an event of giving out free art, cheer up at least two wandering wage slaves (Graffoto doesn’t run on fresh air you know) and throw around complex ideas about emotional polarities into the bargain.